Purpose: The positive effects of sport and physical activity on health and well-being are worldwide recognized, while people with intellectual disabilities are often physically inactive. The aim of this study was to examine the perception of well-being, social integration, and emotional problems of Down syndrome (DS) subjects, who participated in Special Olympic (SO) training and competitions, and to investigate whether parents and their Down children have the same opinion on the problems caused by DS. Methods: Ninety-three participants with DS were recruited for this study: 58 swimmers (aged 16.31 ± 1.55), 35 DS sedentary subjects (aged 16.06 ± 1.39), and their parents (n = 93). Two versions of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ) were individually administered: the Self-reported version (SDQ-SR), completed by the DS participants, and the Parental version (SDQ-P), completed by their parents. Results: Results showed significant differences between sportive vs. non-sportive groups in the overall domain scores (p < 0.01), with better results for the sportive group. Parents of DS non-sportive participants underestimated their children problems in 6 of the 8 domains (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Participation in SO competition can be recommended to improve general well-being perception and social skills in young individuals with DS.

Special Olympics swimming: positive effects on young people with Down syndrome

FIORILLI, Giovanni;IULIANO, Enzo;AQUINO, Giovanna;CALCAGNO, Giuseppe
2016

Abstract

Purpose: The positive effects of sport and physical activity on health and well-being are worldwide recognized, while people with intellectual disabilities are often physically inactive. The aim of this study was to examine the perception of well-being, social integration, and emotional problems of Down syndrome (DS) subjects, who participated in Special Olympic (SO) training and competitions, and to investigate whether parents and their Down children have the same opinion on the problems caused by DS. Methods: Ninety-three participants with DS were recruited for this study: 58 swimmers (aged 16.31 ± 1.55), 35 DS sedentary subjects (aged 16.06 ± 1.39), and their parents (n = 93). Two versions of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ) were individually administered: the Self-reported version (SDQ-SR), completed by the DS participants, and the Parental version (SDQ-P), completed by their parents. Results: Results showed significant differences between sportive vs. non-sportive groups in the overall domain scores (p < 0.01), with better results for the sportive group. Parents of DS non-sportive participants underestimated their children problems in 6 of the 8 domains (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Participation in SO competition can be recommended to improve general well-being perception and social skills in young individuals with DS.
http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=journal&issn=1824-7490
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11695/57464
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